Bloody Good Vampire Movies

by theNeoplatonist | created - 15 Apr 2014 | updated - 23 Dec 2016 | Public

Vampire movies that appeal to the dark aesthetic sensibilities of theNeoplatonist. In alphabetical order...

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1. The Addiction (1995)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.

Director: Abel Ferrara | Stars: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco

Votes: 7,303 | Gross: $0.30M

A film that quotes R.C.Sproul on the nature of evil has to deserve an entry.

2. Blacula (1972)

PG | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Romance

An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles.

Director: William Crain | Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala

Votes: 4,675

Despite the title, not a comedy. Great star performance which merited and got a sequel (see below, "Scream, Blacula, Scream"). Try to watch the blu-ray version with its brilliant introduction by Kim Newman.

3. Blade (1998)

R | 120 min | Action, Horror

45 Metascore

A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.

Director: Stephen Norrington | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N'Bushe Wright

Votes: 213,304 | Gross: $70.09M

Very comic strip, but perfect on those terms.

4. Blood and Roses (1960)

Not Rated | 74 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

A lonely and bitter young heiress - jealous of her cousin's engagement to another woman - becomes dangerously obsessed with legends surrounding a vampire ancestor, who supposedly murdered the young brides of the man she loved.

Director: Roger Vadim | Stars: Mel Ferrer, Elsa Martinelli, Annette Stroyberg, Alberto Bonucci

Votes: 919

"Et mourir de plaisir" in the original French; "Blood and Roses", in English. (The IMDB keeps jumping around from one to the other.) Vampire story as fairy-tale crossbred with psychological puzzler - is she really a vampire, or just a young woman who’s gone off the deep end? Visually very beautiful.

5. The Brides of Dracula (1960)

Unrated | 85 min | Horror

Vampire hunter Van Helsing returns to Transylvania to destroy handsome bloodsucker Baron Meinster, who has designs on beautiful young schoolteacher Marianne.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Martita Hunt, Yvonne Monlaur, Freda Jackson

Votes: 5,466

Peter Cushing’s definitive Van Helsing: this is the man you want at your side if you’re fighting vampires. Brilliant.

6. Count Dracula (1977 TV Movie)

150 min | Horror

The vampire count leaves his Transylvanian home to wreak havoc across the world.

Director: Philip Saville | Stars: Louis Jourdan, Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon, Judi Bowker

Votes: 992

Louis Jourdan as the Count - a wicked performance. By far the most faithful rendition of Stoker’s novel.

7. Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

PG-13 | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A couple invites a Count from Hungary, who recently immigrated to America, to conduct a seance for the woman's recently deceased mother, oblivious to the fact that he is actually a vampire.

Director: Bob Kelljan | Stars: Robert Quarry, Roger Perry, Michael Murphy, Michael Macready

Votes: 1,846

Much underrated. Absolutely terrified the daylights out of me as a teenager, and still stands up owing largely to Robert Quarry’s performance as the Count: half intellectual scholar, half ruthless monster. And that ending…

8. Curse of the Undead (1959)

Unrated | 79 min | Horror, Western

B-grade western with a twist: mysterious gunslinger-for-hire Drake Robey is really a vampire, and it's up to Preacher Dan to save the town and girlfriend Dolores Carter.

Director: Edward Dein | Stars: Eric Fleming, Michael Pate, Kathleen Crowley, John Hoyt

Votes: 615

Highly unusual entry in the genre - a Western synthesized with a Vampire movie. Some highly charged "drinking" scenes. A minor classic. (Note: Doesn't always follow the rules. The vampire here intensely dislikes sunlight, but it doesn't vaporize him.)

9. Dracula (1931)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 38,161

Bela Lugosi effortlessly creates the Aristocratic Vampire archetype.

10. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Votes: 17,370

Christopher Lee’s epoch-making debut. Also known as "Horror of Dracula".

11. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Unrated | 90 min | Horror

Dracula is resurrected, preying on four unsuspecting visitors to his castle.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, Francis Matthews

Votes: 7,475 | Gross: $0.80M

The first half hour is just dripping with suppressed evil. They don’t make villains like Clove any more.

12. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller

A horror obsessed teenager discovers that his next door neighbour is a murderous vampire. He tries to convince the police, his family and friends but to no avail. He decides to take matters into his own hands.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 49,078 | Gross: $24.92M

Comedy-horror, with Roddy McDowall as the aging skeptical presenter of a horror show, “Fright Night”, called in to combat a real vampire; but the horror aspect is very effective.

13. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 261,209 | Gross: $105.26M

Wonderful melancholy atmosphere! the film oozes sadness from every pore.

14. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

82 Metascore

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 187,659 | Gross: $2.12M

Forget the Hollywood remake, this is the true brew, with a mesmerizing performance by Lina Leandersson as the vampire girl: that innocent face, those beautiful wide eyes!

15. Love at First Bite (1979)

PG | 96 min | Comedy

This vampire spoof has Count Dracula moving to New York to find his Bride, after being forced to move out of his Transylvanian castle. There with the aid of assistant Renfield, he stumbles ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Dragoti | Stars: George Hamilton, Susan Saint James, Richard Benjamin, Dick Shawn

Votes: 4,691 | Gross: $43.89M

Under-appreciated vampire comedy, with George Hamilton cutting a dashing figure (and fang) as the Count. Has some hilarious scenes.

16. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 104,152 | Gross: $32.22M

Another comedy-horror, with such a brilliant, hilarious ending.

17. Martin (1978)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror

68 Metascore

A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest, Elyane Nadeau

Votes: 8,326 | Gross: $0.10M

Despite the naturalistic treatment, manages to be creepy and disturbing, with the self-righteous uncle figure even more unsettling than the nominal vampire.

18. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned on by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 28,291 | Gross: $3.37M

Much underrated modern classic: why does no one talk about it?

19. Nightmare Classics (1989)
Episode: Carmilla (1989)

51 min | Horror

Lonely young Marie and her father live on a plantation just before the Civil War. Their placid lives are invaded when they rescue a mysterious woman from a carriage wreck, and soon bodies ... See full summary »

Director: Gabrielle Beaumont | Stars: Roy Dotrice, Roddy McDowall, Ione Skye, Meg Tilly

Votes: 138

Good central performance by Meg Tilly as Carmilla, and another outing for Roddy McDowall as a vampire hunter (see "Fright Night"). The scene where Carmilla is hovering head-downwards (like a bat) and feeding sensuously from above on Marie's neck is weird and electrifying. -----NOTE: The picture is from a different story in the Nightmare Classics, Henry James' "Turn of the Screw".

20. The Night Stalker (1972 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 74 min | Horror, Mystery

An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Darren McGavin, Carol Lynley, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 4,007

Ah, the debut of Carl Kolchak - my favourite paranormal investigator. There’s little comedy here, unlike the later wonderful TV series, but the genuine horror is seamlessly synthesized with the American crime thriller.

21. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt

Votes: 74,623 | Gross: $1.88M

Atmospheric, detailed, sad story, graced by great acting.

22. The Return of Count Yorga (1971)

R | 97 min | Horror

Count Yorga continues to prey on the local community while living by a nearby orphanage. He also intends to take a new wife, while feeding his bevy of female vampires.

Director: Bob Kelljan | Stars: Robert Quarry, Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry, Yvonne Wilder

Votes: 830

Not quite as good as the original, but has some choice moments: a mass vampire attack on a house, Count Yorga losing a fancy dress competition to someone else dressed as Dracula, and a shock ending.

23. Salem's Lot (1979 TV Movie)

PG | 187 min | Horror

A novelist and a young horror fan attempt to save a small New England town which has been invaded by vampires.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia

Votes: 17,043

Perhaps the most straightforwardly intimidating depiction of vampirism.

24. Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

PG | 96 min | Fantasy, Horror

The vampire Mamuwalde (Blacula) is stirred by African voodoo, and is forced to kill again.

Director: Bob Kelljan | Stars: William Marshall, Don Mitchell, Pam Grier, Michael Conrad

Votes: 1,793

Nice sequel to "Blacula", with good direction and surprise ending.

25. Suck (2009)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Music

A comedy centered on a rock 'n' roll band that will do anything to become famous.

Director: Rob Stefaniuk | Stars: Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Paul Anthony, Mike Lobel

Votes: 3,947

Nice (!) spoof of vampirism intruding into rock-n-roll (or rock-n-roll intruding into vampirism). Maybe it doesn't quite work as a whole but it has some fun scenes.

26. Tales from the Darkside (1983–1988)
Episode: Strange Love (1986)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A doctor makes a house call and finds his patients are vampires

Director: Theodore Gershuny | Stars: Harsh Nayyar, Marcia Cross, Patrick Kilpatrick, Paul Sparer

Votes: 150

Effective little vampire love story. Shows how much can be packed into 20 minutes: some people would have taken 2 hours to tell the story.

27. Ultraviolet (1998– )

300 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Michael Colefield is unwillingly thrust into the nightmarish world of vampires when he discovers a secret government organisation operating undercover within the police when his friend Jack... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, Idris Elba, Philip Quast

Votes: 2,348

Okay, a TV mini-series, but it can be watched as one long TV movie. By far the most overwhelmingly authentic and credible depiction of vampirism in a modern setting. After this, you can’t trust anyone…

28. Underworld (2003)

R | 121 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

42 Metascore

Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen

Votes: 230,305 | Gross: $51.97M

Selene is the most convincing “vampire heroine” by a huge margin: unsentimental and non-human, yet somehow darkly attractive and tragically but truly heroic.

29. Vampires (1998)

R | 108 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

42 Metascore

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith

Votes: 46,479 | Gross: $20.24M

Under-rated, in theNeoplatonist's garlic-stuffed opinion. John Carpenter is almost always good.

30. Vampires (2010)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

Belgium's vampire community invites a documentary crew to film one of their families: husband, wife, and two teen children - Georges, Bertha, Sampson, and Grace. The teens have problems: ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Lannoo | Stars: Carlo Ferrante, Vera Van Dooren, Pierre Lognay, Fleur Lise Heuet

Votes: 830

Amusing Belgian spoof. A template for "What We Do In The Shadows".

31. Wir sind die Nacht (2010)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

In Berlin, a cop closes in on an all-female vampire trio who just took in a new member, Lena.

Director: Dennis Gansel | Stars: Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich, Anna Fischer

Votes: 6,978

Improves with repeated viewings. An off-beat little gem.

32. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Horror

76 Metascore

Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi | Stars: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Jonny Brugh

Votes: 105,104 | Gross: $3.33M

Affectionate send-up of the whole genre: very effective in the neoPlatonist's monstrous opinion.